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Biryani is an everlasting relic of the Moghul era that continues to live and breathe in innumerable restaurants and kitchens across the globe. Not only that, this traditional recipe has stood the test of time by being constantly adapted to suit the tastes of each generation. While many modern versions of this spice-filled rice preparation are made in the oven or microwave, here is a recipe that retains the original Handi cooked magic. Layers of rice and vegetable gravy are topped with an aromatic saffron mixture and simmered on the stove till the aroma multiplies and wafts out, to fill the room and the hearts of the diners! Enjoy it hot and fresh, with Raitas / Kachumber or a white-gravy based side dish like Paneer In White Gravy .
- Combine 4½ cups of water, bayleaf, cinnamon, clove, cardamom, rice and salt in a deep non-stick pan, mix well and cover with a lid and cook on a medium flame for 10 minutes or till the rice is cooked.
- Strain the rice using a strainer and keep aside.
- Heat the oil in a non-stick kadhai and add the cumin seeds.
- When the seeds crackle, add the onions and sauté on a medium flame for 1 to 2 minutes or till the onions turn translucent.
- Add the ginger-green chilli paste, turmeric powder, coriander powder, chilli powder and garam masala and sauté on a medium flame for a few seconds.
- Add the tomatoes and 2 tbsp of water, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add the mixed vegetables, paneer, salt and milk, mix well and cook on a medium flame for another 2 to 3 minutes, while stirring occasionally.
- Add the sugar, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 1 more minute.
- Combine the curds, coriander and saffron colour in a bowl and mix well.
- Add the prepared rice, mix well and divide into 2 equal portions.
- Put a portion of the rice in a handi and spread it evenly with the back of a spoon.
- Add the prepared vegetable gravy on it and spread it evenly.
- Top it with the 2nd portion of the rice and spread it evenly.
- Pour the ghee evenly over it and cover it with a lid.
- Place the handi on a non-stick tava (griddle) and cook on a slow flame for 25 to 30 minutes.
- Serve hot.
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